Later in April 2018, I went to Richardson, TX to get further training as an insurance adjuster. I wasn't working at the time, and getting my rope & harness certification sounded like way more fun than continuing to do online courses and certifications.
The rope & harness cert gives me the ability to inspect & bill the extra charge for steep roofs (7/12 pitch and higher). I have something of a love/hate relationship with heights...I like getting on top of things for a better vantage point, but I don't feel very secure climbing a ladder to get to that point. So the class was good in giving me an idea of what to expect for using extension ladders (something I hadn't done before) and a climbing harness on a roof.
The class lasted 4 days. On day 3 I got a call asking if I would be able to go back to Mobile for work as a desk adjuster. I didn't really want to work on the inside again, but I agreed because I didn't know when I would get the chance to work at all again.
A few hours later one of the instructors pulled me to the side and asked if I was interested in a position working on the outside as a wind adjuster. I said yes, of course, but still had to go to Mobile to fulfill my initial obligation.
Being a desk adjuster is...not exactly my favorite. It usually involves working 10-12 hour days, 7 days a week, with very little to no time off. But it's always a temporary position, and sometimes a day off does crop up.
I did get one day to go to Dauphin Island (about 45 min south of Mobile). The beach is usually very quiet in the early morning, with lots of birds and wildlife and is one of my favorite places to visit when I have a day off.
The bird-watching is terrific (and there were maybe 3 people on the beach that morning so that was awesome too)
On this day I think I saw over 500 hermit crabs on the beach and in the water.
Also a dancing bird? It seemed happy instead of distressed
Also some kind of fishing boat
A pile of hermit crabs
Also may or may not have found a sea monster
I'm not a very beachy person (definitely prefer the mountains or woods), but I think I'll always have a soft spot for Dauphin Island.
It's been over a year since my last post, and to say 'a lot has happened' is one of the biggest understatements I could utter. I'm going to try to sum up the last 14 months in a series of posts, along with some photos that have been taken during my travels.
In September 2017, I changed careers to become an insurance adjuster. This is a move that I had been anticipating for a while, but when it actually happened everything fell together extremely fast. I did two days of training as a flood adjuster in Mobile, AL, then took 4 days to go home and shove everything I owned into storage so I could go to work down in Houston after Hurricane Harvey.
(My experiences in Houston could fill a short novel...and perhaps I'll write that one day. Today is not that day.)
I ended up spending about 6 weeks in Houston, then went to Mobile again to work as a desk adjuster because the 'outside' work was pretty much done. I spent the next four months in Mobile working 10-12 hour days 7 days a week - took off a weekend for Christmas and two days in January to attend a friend's wedding in that time frame.
Being an adjuster is the very definition of crazy seasonal work (aka work your butt off for several months at insane hours and then have no work for an indeterminate amount of time). So when work was done at the end of January I be-bopped around for a couple of months, visiting family and friends and reveling in having some free time.
The end of March/beginning of April I spent in Illinois staying with my parents, starting to get a little nervous because I didn't have any work and had no idea when I would go back...but thankfully this meant that I was home during a combination of a freak snow and hoarfrost on April 1st.
Hoarfrost is one of my favorite things: it forms when fog freezes and creates ethereal ice crystals on everything it touches. I have seen it a total of maybe 4 times in my life because it requires still, calm, moist, cold weather. (As anyone who lives in Illinois can tell you, 98% of the time the wind is blowing. IT NEVER STOPS)
This day, however, the conditions were absolutely perfect.
I left the house during golden hour, and it was absolutely frigid (around 15 degrees), and it was just me tromping around the yard with the dog, and the entire experience was magical.
(See? Tromping boots. Very important for snowy days.)
This is one of my favorite pictures I've ever taken, by the way. It's like the entire embodiment of winter mornings summed up in one image.
Javert accompanied me during the first part of the snowfall.
He was unamused after the first five minutes or so.
I, on the other hand, was very amused by this robin's tenacity at declaring spring in the middle of a snowstorm.
The snow only lasted for a day or two, but I absolutely loved it while it lasted. After spending my entire winter in the deep south, where people whine if the temperature drops below 60, it was a delight to have a taste of true winter weather.
The middle of April I drove to Texas for a class through work. The class was free, for the purpose of becoming rope and harness certified so I could work on steep roofs for inspections. On day 3 out of 4 of training I was asked to go back to Mobile as a desk adjuster AND asked if I wanted to join an emergency response unit - the latter is as a salaried employee, where they send me wherever there happens to be work (especially for catastrophes) anywhere in the country.
I accepted the desk position first, so as soon as the class was over I drove back to Mobile to work for about 6 weeks. I'll be back with my next post on some of the things I enjoy(ed) about Mobile...and hopefully will be blogging again on a semi-regular basis. I make no promises, especially since I'm still working 10 hour days 7 days a week right now, but I've missed blogging and have lots of photos to post from the last year.
Sessions, life updates, and musings.